All those Thin Mints and Caramel Delites bought from the Girl Scouts are making a difference in Coon Rapids and Anoka.
Local troop members are building two colorful Little Free Libraries, so that whether neighbors have a library card or not, they can read.
“I like to read the little house on the prairie books,” said 9-year-old Elizabeth Gohtdes. She’s been a member of the Girl Scouts of Coon Rapids for four years. Now she’s sharing her love for reading with her community by building Little Free Libraries.
The project and similar community projects are funded through the annual Girl Scouts cookie sale and donations.
The Little Free Libraries will go up in the next week on Silverrod St. in Coon Rapids and Logan St. in Anoka.
“I enjoy doing it because for the people who don’t have library cards, they can come to the Little Free Library and take out a book and read it and put it back and so they don’t have to have the library card. They can just come find one and return it when they’re done reading it,” said Gohtdes.
Troop leader Elizabeth Wymer said it’s the final project before her troop members earn the highest award a Girl Scout Brownie can earn, the Summit Award.
“So this one is being for the Brownie Quest where the girls are challenged to find a project that makes a difference in the community and around the world,” said Wymer.
Each troop member has a leadership role, teaching them the value of teamwork.
“I was the photographer and so when my friends from our troop were working on it, I was taking pictures of what they were doing with it,” said Gohtdes.
Wymer said the girls got to help hammer all of the pieces together, make the plans for the design, paint it and collect the books that go inside the library.
She said the Little Free Library is as easy as stopping by, taking a book, reading it, returning it and if readers want, they can donate a book too.
“They learned about stories and how stories can make a difference in the world and make a change,” said Wymer. “And so they felt strongly about stories and literacy and heard about these Little Free Libraries. There’s one right across from the place where we meet wand wanted to put up a couple of them around our community.”
Gohtdes said she’d like to donate books for children along with some chapter books.
Wymer said this project is just one of many community based projects troop members work on. This year, the Girl Scouts of Coon Rapids have volunteered at nursing homes, building butterfly gardens, volunteered at the humane society, cleaned up gutters and of course, sold their Girl Scout Cookies.